Recently, I’ve been invited to some awesome groups like Nonprofit.ist, Indecollective, and Cindy Wagman’s Fractional Fundraiser Academy to talk about being Lazy on LinkedIn, or spending one intentional hour a week on LinkedIn to move the needle in your business.
I love talking about this, and it seems to resonate so I thought I’d do a solo episode about the 3-part framework that makes this even possible. Because, especially after Twitter has imploded, more and more social impact entrepreneurs are flocking to LinkedIn to grow their business and build top-of-mind trust and community.
But, we also don’t want to be on the platform all day long trying to get our message heard. We have other, more important things to do like naps, cuddling our dogs, and yes, supporting our clients.
Highlights from the podcast episode:
So, how do we show up as go-to consultants, coaches, or service providers on LinkedIn in a lazy, or let’s just say life-first way?
I’m spilling the beans on the framework that makes this work. And, if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on the specific how-to’s, you can get free access to the first bit of my new Thought Leadership Clarity Audio Course. The course explains, step-by-step, how to do each of the pieces that build up a strong thought leadership brand: from crafting your foundational messaging to building strategic partnerships. Plus, it includes scripts, templates, and swipeable copy to make each action easeful.
Now, let’s get into being Lazy on LinkedIn. I discovered being Lazy on LinkedIn as a nonprofit Executive Director. The nonprofit was an addiction treatment program for women and their families.
When I think back to those days, they’d often start at 7am with a donor breakfast or community networking gathering or call from a colleague trying to place a patient in care. Days would end after 7pm with a grant reception or just trying to respond to the backlog of unread email.
Or, they’d end in my favorite way: alumni dinners with women in recovery who graduated our program sometime over the last forty years.
And so, days were busy, but chock full of impactful stories that needed to be shared.
So, I challenged myself to tell one interesting story each week on LinkedIn. We were a small shop without a marketing team, so scrappy was the name of the game at that point.
I put an hour on my calendar each week that was protected time and committed to it. I shared a story and in that same mini-LinkedIn session, I’d also send a few messages to potential or past supporters or leave a thoughtful comment on a local business influencer’s post.
It felt pretty inconsequential at first. But soon, things started to change.
✨Our nonprofit was invited to PR opportunities without pitching
✨Local corporate leaders reached out about sponsoring our fundraiser
✨I/we got organic referrals from interventionists and HR people, through top-of-mind awareness
When I left my job as a nonprofit ED to become a consultant, I remember thinking, okay great, I don’t have to work 80 hours a week anymore. Now I’ll have more time! Which is so funny now in retrospect because if anything, the only person busier than an ED is a solopreneur or independent worker.
But, as I became a consultant, I realized being Lazy on LinkedIn still works! Giving ourselves grace to come up with just one original and shareable thought each week lets our best brand storytelling emerge. Nurturing the people that are already showing up lets our relationships grow deeper, into what they’re meant to be.
And that’s because LinkedIn is the place to access movers, shakers, and amplifiers. They may be lurking, but they’re learning from you and building trust in your solution. And that is why I actually love LinkedIn – it’s a tool that democratizes thought leadership. Everybody can build an influential platform, and have access to power brokers, decision makers, supporters, clients, to open up doorways of opportunity. I go into detail on why that is in Episode 30: What makes LinkedIn the Best Place to Build your Brand and Business, which I’ll link in the show notes as well.
But as I mentioned, I have a three-part framework for this work. These are the three pieces we need to have in place to become a top-of-mind, trusted voice on LinkedIn in a way that only requires one hour per week, because the things we’re doing during that hour are rooted in this 3-C framework, and become so intentional, clear, and actionable.
You need to have Clarity, Content, and Community
Let’s talk about Clarity first. That is, clarity in your brand messaging – what you stand for, your niche or community and their specific expression of the problem you solve for, and the deep, yet specific value you bring to the world so you can get paid accordingly.
- When you show up your messaging comes out differently each time, or isn’t clear, which causes confusion. Your messaging doesn’t really get at the heart of what you do in a way that lands.
- That’s because you’re talking to everyone, so you’re not really talking to anyone. Your ideal audience can’t hear you, or really understand what you do, why it’s important, and how they fit into it into your work
- You have a lot of things you’re passionate about, but don’t know how they fit together into a unified vision, mission, and brand story.
- When you have crystal clear messaging, it makes people say, “tell me more. They begin to talk about you positively in rooms that you’re not even in. You don’t have to show up a ton, because …
- you’re developing an audience of ambassadors, who are carrying your message. You get a consistent stream of leads and opportunities from others on LinkedIn because it’s CRYSTAL CLEAR why, how, and who you help, and it’s easy to refer to you.
- Of course, because you have a clear niche and brand story, you show up as a practiced and relatable guide.
Clarity is foundational to being Lazy on LinkedIn, because it means every action you take works harder for you. Here are 3 checkpoints to gauge yourself against, to see if you maybe need to tighten up your clear brand message.
One of the most common barriers I hear is a version of “I am afraid to hit post and get visible on the platform.” Sometimes, LinkedIn takes so much of our time because we take an hour to write a post, wanting it to be perfect, but it never becomes good enough and we don’t post it at all. I count this under clarity because as we root ourselves in what we stand for our inner critic starts to get quieter and quieter because we are working in our purpose.
Are you speaking to a specific niche in their own words and language? This allows us to be lazy on LinkedIn because when your ideal clients hear themselves reflected, they’ll lean in. Your content will land powerfully. You’ll start to get right fit inquiries from your one post per week and that can be enough.
Are you sharing in a way that’s rooted in your brand story, that demonstrates your deeper why? Your story of what you’ve grown through to now be the guide you are today? I would guess that for so many of us, the work that we do for our clients is somehow related to an experience we went through ourselves, or are passionate about. Sharing from our brand story helps us be Lazy on LinkedIn because storytelling is like a shortcut to trust. Stories transport our readers into our world, like nothing else does.
I have been really entrenched in this piece around clarity lately, as I’m putting out the Thought Leadership Clarity Audio Course. As you get clarity, your mind becomes a faucet of ideas, stories, and content. You never run out of things to say because you’re in a deep relationship with your “why”. So this drives right into the next C of the framework, which is content.
Once you have clarity, you can start sharing content that lands more powerfully.
- Your current clients already know how amazing you are – but a whole world of new potential supporters – who are just 2nd degree connections away from you – are missing out on your awesomeness!
- The world is noisier and louder than ever. Even though you had a great coffee chat three months ago, they may forget that you offer what you offer, even when they need exactly what you provide. Without content, it’s hard to stay top of mind.
- Your ideal audience will keep struggling with their issue. Maybe they’ll just never get support at all. It’s not just about getting the client, it’s about changing hearts and minds at scale. And if you’re not sharing your opinions, you can’t impact people who struggle with the issue you work on. And that sucks.
- Your content is working as a 24/7 marketing team.. because if your client likes your post, their colleagues are going to start seeing your name and your content come up too. And your clients probably have friends who also struggle with the issue you’re helping them with. Right?
- You will educate and inspire. One of the cool things about thought leadership on LinkedIn is how large your impact and reach becomes. Out of all the people reaching out and starting to let you know how much your content inspired them to do things differently or that hired you, there are probably 10 times as many who also felt that way and just haven’t told you yet.
- And third, when folks eventually hop on a discovery call or sales call or first meeting with you – they are already IN! You don’t have to sell them on what you have to offer because they already trust you through your content. Your discovery calls become fun and easy, like you’re talking to a friend.
Content is foundational to visibility on LinkedIn, because if you’re only going to show up once per week, you want that content to pack a heavy punch, and really prompt people towards behavior change. Towards action.
Here are some content checkpoints
Are you painting a picture of a visionary outcome or just sharing features and benefits of your offers? We are so in the trenches of the work we do that sometimes we get stuck in talking about how many modules our new group coaching program has, or you know, how many hours of your time your clients will get in your upcoming retreat or done for you service. But this is like highlighting how comfy the seats on an airplane are when you could instead talk about the tropical destination you’re taking your clients to. Talk about the end transformation.
Are you positioning yourself as a go-to expert by sharing your key brand messages again and again, in slightly different ways? You do not have to come up with brand new ideas every time you create content – we actually just need to share the right, foundational things over and over. What points of view do you want to become known for and called to speak on? Which opinions will become so recognizable that even if your name and picture weren’t attached to your content, people would still know it’s you?
Each key brand message is a shortcut to a larger concept you and your audience are deeply passionate about. When it’s time to put out a new offer, webinar, speaking gig, or piece of content, you don’t have to come up with anything new. You can just go deeper into what you already believe. That helps us be Lazy on LinkedIn.
The last one is COMMUNITY – I feel like this is the most missing piece. Usually when people feel like they’re doing all the right things on LI but not getting traction, usually this piece of the framework isn’t being done. I talk about this more in Podcast Episode 36: Steal my LinkedIn Poll Strategy to Spark Convos and Community.
Community is key to being Lazy on LinkedIn because again, the community that forms around you will share your content with others, remember to refer you to their clients because you’re staying top of mind, and serve as ambassadors for you.
Here are 3 checkpoints for community
Are you engaging with the people who are engaging with you? (i.e. visiting your page, voting in your polls?) Are you reaching out to them with a DM, to say hi and introduce yourself further, and get to know them? This deepens the relationship from a stranger into a referral partner, or maybe a client, or maybe an investor or funder or mentor– whoever they’re meant to be in your world.
Can you engage in collabs and partnerships, like LinkedIn Lives or Audio’s, or post and article swaps, with strategic partners who serve a similar audience to you but in a different way? Like if you’re a fundraising coach, can you partner with an attorney who works specifically for nonprofits and do a training that’s in the venn diagram between you? Just this year California passed a set of laws, AB 488 regulating charitable crowdfunding in new ways. Both of your audiences would be interested, and when combined, you have a deeper reach and stronger voice. When you share your audiences in one, valuable event or collab, it grows your influence.
Each piece on its own is powerful but combined can spark deep visibility for your social impact business in a bite-sized chunk of time. But here’s the thing. You could have these three pieces – clarity, content, community, but if you don’t practice this one thing – you’ll still miss out on the opportunities that are meant for you. Can you guess what it is?
Yup, it’s our old friend CONSISTENCY.
This framework continues building and building upon each other. Consistency is not an afterthought. Building a habit of doing these things for an hour per week, each week, will bear wonderful fruit over time.
It’s simple but not necessarily easy. But what I know for sure, after supporting so many social impact leaders with their foundational personal brand messaging work, is that gaining clarity creates consistency.
Want to know more? Click here to get your first episode of the Thought Leadership Clarity Course, for free. Talk to you soon.
Connect with me:
LinkedIn: Tania Bhattacharyya